General manager Reggie McKenzie along with the Oakland Raiders made writers and fans play the guessing game all week in the aftermath of the 2014 NFL Draft as the team waited until Friday afternoon to release their official list of UDFA’s (Undrafted Free Agents).
While many of the UDFA’s were unofficially confirmed over the course of the week following the draft, including big names in Texas Longhorns wideout Mike Davis and Notre Dame running back/special teamer George Atkinson III, the Raiders were not out of surprises when they released the official list as two more UDFA signings were announced that managed to slip through the rumor circle.
West Alabama’s Seth Roberts (WR) and Delaware’s Erle Ladson were the two UDFA’s that were not unofficially confirmed prior to the release of the 11 UDFA’s.
Below is the complete list of 2014 Oakland Raiders UDFA’s from the team’s official press release:
The Oakland Raiders have signed the following 11 undrafted free agents, General Manager Reggie McKenzie announced on Friday.
|Atkinson III, George||RB||6-1||218||Notre Dame|
|Coles, D.J.||WR||6-3||225||Virginia Tech|
|Fields, Carlos||LB||6-1||238||Winston-Salem State|
|Grigsby, Noel||WR||5-10||185||San Jose State|
|Roberts, Seth||WR||6-2||196||West Alabama|
Atkinson III: Played three seasons at Notre Dame, appearing in 37 games for the Fighting Irish. He totaled 943 rushing yards on 153 attempts and 10 touchdowns over his career. His Father, George, spent 10 seasons (1968-77) as a standout safety for the Silver and Black.
Coles: Finished his collegiate career with 64 receptions for 894 yards and nine touchdowns in 50 games over his four-year tenure at Virginia Tech.
Davis: Played four years at Texas, finishing fourth on the school’s all-time receptions list (200), fourth in receiving yards (2,753) and fifth in receiving TDs (18). He appeared in 49 games with 38 starts during his tenure.
Fields: Played three years at Winston-Salem State, earning Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the CIAA his senior season. His career totals include 47 games played with 321 tackles (183 solo), eight sacks and five interceptions.
Grigsby: Played five seasons locally at San Jose State, appearing in 40 games. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leader with 3,121 receiving yards on 237 receptions and 17 touchdowns. He also set the school’ single-season record with 89 receptions as a sophomore in 2011.
Kistler: Played in 48 career games with 42 starts at tackle and guard over four seasons at Montana, earning All-Big Sky Conference first-team selections his junior and senior year.
Ladson: Appeared in 48 career games with 23 starts at tackle over his four-year career at Delaware. He started the final 23 games of his career.
Murphy: Played in 30 career games with 14 starts over three years at Utah. His career totals include 63 receptions for 830 yards and 10 TDs and was an honorable All-Pac 12 mention in 2012.
Roberts: Played two seasons at West Alabama, finishing with 62 receptions for 1,169 yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the team with 12 touchdown receptions and 857 yards in 2013.
Simonson: Played four seasons at Assumption, earning Northeast-10 All-Conference selections his junior and senior seasons. He caught 39 passes for 604 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.
Williams: Played in 36 games with five starts over three seasons at Utah. He rushed 15 times for 51 yards his senior season.
The Raiders will be hoping that Reggie McKenzie’s UDFA track record continues to produce some quality finds as the one thing that RM has thrived at has been finding diamonds in the rough, partly by choice due to dead cap money and a little bit due to the lack of draft picks in his first season at the helm way back in 2012. The likes of Rod Streater and Matt McGloin have provided some memorable performances as UDFA’s over the past two seasons and there is hope that Mike Davis and George Atkinson III can crack the 53 man roster and take in their footsteps.
If the Raiders hit a home run on at least one of their undrafted free agents it will be considered a success, as the odds are low on becoming a superstar from UDFA beginnings but don’t tell that to the 11 players who will now be hungry to make their impression felt on the NFL after being passed over in all seven rounds. For now McKenzie are hoping that at least one of their 11 UDFA’s can break the odds and produce success for the team going forward.